Unusual Inspiration for Names

What’s the most unusual inspiration for names you’ve used? It can be for your writing, a character or place, or in your real life, a name for a child or pet.

My sister gave her daughter the middle name Gennai. One of her favorite movies is The Inn of the Sixth Happiness with Ingrid Bergman. It tells the true story of missionary Gladys Aylward, who lived in China during the 1930’s. Gennai was the name she was given in China.

I was inspired to name a minor character after a road sign. In the country, many roads have two names, like Smith Brown Road. I think it’s because the roads were named after families who lived on them. I found one called Bean Oller Road. I imagined that Bean is the nickname for a man whose last name is Oller. Nobody knows how he got the nickname because he changes his story every time someone asks him about it.

Let me know about your most unusual inspiration for names.

4 thoughts on “Unusual Inspiration for Names

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  1. I’m horrible with names. Sometimes I finish a book’s first draft, realize the name isn’t good enough and change it. I did that with my debut – named the mc Susan, and I even was on the draft of the second book when I decided to change the name to Roxanne. with my new book, I’d finished two drafts before I realized Travis wasn’t suitable and changed it to Chad. I had a character too once I named X for a while.

    1. Yes, sometimes you need place holder names until you can come up with a good one. If a character isn’t working out for me, it could be that I’ve given him or her a bad name.

  2. I had two minor characters that needed temporary names. One ended up being Chuck, the other Berry ( like the musician- I think the names are permanent now😁)

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